Saturday, April 10, 2010

What meanest thou, O sleeper ?

Luke 11:30
For as Jonah became a sign to the Ninevites, so also the Son of Man will be to this generation.

Jonah 1:3-6
But Jonah arose to flee to Tarshish from the presence of the LORD. He went down to Joppa, and found a ship going to Tarshish; so he paid the fare, and went down into it, to go with them to Tarshish from the presence of the LORD.
But the LORD sent out a great wind on the sea, and there was a mighty tempest on the sea, so that the ship was about to be broken up.
Then the mariners were afraid; and every man cried out to his god, and threw the cargo that was in the ship into the sea, to lighten the load. But Jonah had gone down into the lowest parts of the ship, had lain down, and was fast asleep.
So the captain came to him, and said to him, “What do you mean, sleeper? Arise, call on your God; perhaps your God will consider us, so that we may not perish.”

Jonas 1:11
And he said to them, “Pick me up and throw me into the sea; then the sea will become calm for you. For I know that this great tempest is because of me.”

Mark 4:1
And again He began to teach by the sea. And a great multitude was gathered to Him, so that He got into a boat and sat in it on the sea; and the whole multitude was on the land facing the sea.

Mark 4:35-40
On the same day, when evening had come, He said to them, “Let us cross over to the other side.” Now when they had left the multitude, they took Him along in the boat as He was. And other little boats were also with Him. And a great windstorm arose, and the waves beat into the boat, so that it was already filling. But He was in the stern, asleep on a pillow. And they awoke Him and said to Him, “Teacher, do You not care that we are perishing?” Then He arose and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, “Peace, be still!” And the wind ceased and there was a great calm. But He said to them, “Why are you so fearful? How is it that you have no faith?”

Luke 11:32-33
The men of Nineveh will rise up in the judgment with this generation and condemn it, for they repented at the preaching of Jonah; and indeed a greater than Jonah is here. “No one, when he has lit a lamp, puts it in a secret place or under a basket, but on a lampstand, that those who come in may see the light...

Luke 11:35
Therefore take heed that the light which is in you is not darkness.

"The evidence of faith is rest" -- David Wilkerson (Author of "The Cross and the Switchblade")
The story is of a prophet in a boat running from his witness to sinners and also of our savior in a boat because His witness to sinners was magnificently vast. Both could sleep soundly, even as the boat they were in faced certain disaster. Both had a faith that could calm the very sea. Both carried the light of the Holy Spirit. One had His light under a basket to keep a nation in darkness, and the other had His light on a lamp stand to bring the nations into the light.
What about us? Are we truly agents of the light or heaven forbid, of the darkness? Beloved, don't we realize that this great tempest we are now in, is here because of our disobedience in our witness of Him? Wake up; throw off the basket which covers our witness for Christ. Only then, will the sea become calm again. In the end, Jonah ("Dove" in Hebrew), allowed the light of the Holy Spirit to shine and a nation was saved. Being lead by the Holy Spirit in our daily witness of Jesus Christ is our leap into the deep of a great light. That light is truly the hope for our nation and the world.

So, we are left asking, why would a person filled with the Holy Spirit choose to leave a nation in darkness ? Perhaps it is because Jonah was a prophet, who understood what the Ninevites meant to the future of Israel. He was looking for God to utterly destroy the Ninevites.... to save Israel. Ninevah, a city so large it took 3 days to walk across it, was the capitol of Assyria. The Assyrians would be responsible for the slaughter, deportation and scattering of the 10 tribes of northern Israel. Jonah must have baulked at the very idea that God could have compassion on such people. But who can know the mind of God ? Jesus came saying love your enemies and do good to those who persecute you. In truth, Israel’s calamity was brought on by her own rebellion... but even in that, God would later use the scattering of His beloved people to spread the gospel of Christ to all the world.

2 Samuel 22:17
He reached down from heaven
and took hold of me;
He pulled me out of deep waters.